captivated by the backseat view
When I was a kid, I was confined to the backseat, where I would stare out the window in fascination, listen to music, stick my hand out the car window to let it “fly” through the air, and talk to my parents about my thoughts on matters. Sometimes I would simply come up with fanciful stories about faeries and princes and magical lands. Many kids were bored in the backseat, but I’ve always found it a place of imagination. It was also a place of comfort because I knew that my parents would safely guide the family to our destination. All I had to do was relax and examine the world as it whizzed by at 35 MPH.
ABOUT BACKSEAT WRITER
Backseat Writer is about capturing that imagination once again–not only observing the culture in which we live but engaging in as well. As the site grew, it became impossible to manage both Backseat Writer and my personal columnist-style blog. So in March 2009, I combined both Backseat Writer and my blog Atypical Musings into one keeping the name Backseat Writer. Because I am a writer who loves photography, media, music, and interviews, I’ve decided to take elements (sections) from what I love in crafting Backseat Writer. The sections are as follows.
*Friday Faves: The feature starts with a personal anecdote and ends with the best stuff I’ve found through surfing the web, in bookstores, or just random things I enjoy.
*Atypical Musings: The name is derived from my personal blog. When posting on my blog, I wrote about anything and everything that interested me, even (and especially) if was sure to spark conversation. This element is what I’d like to called “the essential Amy” as the writing is drawn directly from my life–my relationship with God (and Christianity), my struggles, my thoughts, my politics, and my laughter. Due to the vast amount of posts from my former blog, this is the largest (and most vulnerable) part of the site.
*Photography: When I’m not writing or reading, you can find me trekking through parks, abandoned building sites, and urban areas looking for beauty in decay. God have given us a world full of natural beauty (sunsets, flowers, birds), humorous beauty (kids, animals, silliness), forgotten beauty (rust, decay, urban images), and divine beauty (an image burned on our minds as uniquely spiritual). I look for all these things when I take pictures, which to me, is an incredible act of worship to the Creator of the Universe.
*Reviews: As a music lover, reader, and movie-watcher, I enjoy offering my opinion on the latest (and not-so-latest) media hitting the shelves. If you are a publicist or band or writer and would like your product reviewed, shoot me an e-mail (email@example.com). I also review for FIRST Wild Card Tours and PUMP Up Your Book Promotions. See REVIEW POLICY below.
*Take 5: Easily the most popular feature since Backseat Writer’s start has been our Take 5 interviews with musicians, writers, and other personalities. Basically, a Take 5 interview is a short Q&A comprised of five questions which vary depending on the interviewee. A couple usually revolve around the product the talent is promoting, another may be personal, one is general, and the other is just for fun.
*Music Notes & Book Notes: Due to the overwhelming amount of new releases in books and music, I cannot possibly cover everything, so “notes” are short reviews or information on what’s going on in the world of books or music to keep you, the reader, well-informed. I can’t fit everything in “Friday Faves” after all.
*Contributors: On my school report card, I always got high marks for playing well with others. I love Backseat Writer, but in order to work on my other writing projects, the need for contributors has become dire. I love my contributors so much, they have their own page. Shoot me an email (amy at backseat writer dot com) and maybe one day you can be added to the page!
*Guest Posts: These are friends of Backseat Writer who are just popping in to share about a new book or album, write an opinion piece, or “wow” us with a photo essay. While they can’t be regularly scheduled contributors, I love to welcome guests. Hit me up (amy at backseat writer dot com) if you are interested in writing a guest post.
*News: Press releases flood my e-mail on a daily basis and I don’t have time to write about everything, so I occasionally publish press releases to let readers know about news from the entertainment world.
Discontinued (for now):
*Take 10: Playing off the name “Take 5,” a Take 10 is a 10-minute audio interview with an artist, author, musician, other. The audio is altered only slightly and embedded in a post on this site.
Reason for discontinuation: It took too much time to edit the audio, hosting the audio feeds cost me moolah, and the feature didn’t seem to resonate with readers.
*Shameless Plug Saturday: Everyone has an opportunity to promote a blog, a band, a project, or an event (within reason). Everyone needs a little shameless promotion from time to time.
Reason for discontinuation: No one contributed any plugs. I already shamelessly plug my own “faves” on Fridays. Hopefully, BSW can rejuvenate this feature because I really liked it.
*Features: These are 800-1200 word articles about a particular topic, usually revolving around an interview with a musician or author. I try to write at least one feature a month.
Reason for discontinuation: Again, features take a lot of time to write. While I enjoy flexing my journalistic muscle, it was a lot of energy for little return. I decided to do Q&A’s with artists I really enjoy and discontinue features for the time being.
Backseat Writer is an independent media outlet respecting the rights of individuals and their creative property. Therefore, Backseat Writer does not own first publishing rights or copyrights to any of the articles published here, but rather allows these to be retained by the author/creator. While Backseat Writer would appreciate attribution for publication, it is not required. Quotes, citations, mentions, and links are welcome and appreciated, but the articles may not reproduced fully without the author’s individual permission. Written submissions cannot be removed until one year until after the date of posting. At that time, the article may be removed at the request of the author (or with prior authorization from Backseat Writer due to special circumstances).
To submit an article, story, poem, or photograph, please contact Amy Sondova. To obtain reprint information on articles, please contact the individual author or Backseat Writer. Remember, Backseat Writer is like a “talk show” and you are a “guest” on that talk show.
Request for reviews/interview/marriage proposals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why, yes, I would love to review your album, book, movie, or product! Due to time restraints, that book I’m eventually going to write, and my personal preferences, I may not be able to honor all requests for reviews, interviews, or Nigerians who want to wire me money.
Before you hit me up with your latest and greatest, please note that I will only accept music for review (and artist interviews) that is downloadable or sent to me via snail mail. Additionally, I will only accept books that are readable on Kindle or sent to me in hard copy format (again, in the mail). My reasoning? I need my music and reading material to be portable—to go with me where I need to go. That’s how I live life and that’s how I review materials. I cannot be chained to my computer listening to music or reading books.
Additionally, I retain the right to accept or reject all materials based on quality of content and whether or not I believe the materials fit in with the vision of Backseat Writer. Usually I can tell whether or not something is a good fit by the press release and I will tell you so before you send materials, so feel free to send your queries to email@example.com.
(aka My Love Note to the FTC)
This policy is valid from 06 October 2009
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, contact Amy Sondova.
This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, we will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.
This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.
The owner of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.
To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org.
And just in case that doesn’t satisfy the Federal Trade Commission, I also wrote this--Due to new guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it is my duty to inform you that the products (books, albums, ice cream maker, and so on) reviewed or featured on Backseat Writer were supplied by a publicist, promoter, or company for perusal. Therefore, since this is considered compensation (since I get to keep the items when I am finished), I must inform you that, yes, I get free stuff because I review it.
I do not get paid to do reviews or interviews (though if anyone wants to hire me for freelance work, I’m listening.) I do not accept money in exchange for posting press releases or endorsements. All content is generated for the pure love and joy of writing!
Links included in posts are for informational purposes only and are never composed for the purpose of including advertising.
No record company, publisher, publicist, band, artist, hobbit, or gnome will ever influence the content, topics, or posts made on Backseat Writer, though they may inspire a few!